Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

McGovern Medical School, a part of UTHealth
6431 Fannin, MSB 6.219
Phone: (713) 500-6048
Lab: (713) 500-6232

Research Interests

Ca2+ ions exert a profound influence on vital physiological processes. One major player driving the Ca2+ signal is the Ca2+ release channel, inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R), present natively in nearly all human cells. IP3Rs act as a signaling hub for multiple inputs to finely tune the Ca2+ signal and its dysregulation deeply impacts health with critical roles in cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. While IP3Rs are highly regulated signal integrators, the molecular mechanism governing their regulation is not well understood. High-resolution structural information is key to understanding IP3R function in Ca2+ signaling and Ca2+ channel diseases. Therefore, we utilize a multidisciplinary approach that includes biochemical and biophysical characterization, single-particle electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM), computational methods, molecular modeling and bioinformatics to define the molecular interactions regulating IP3R function.


  • Fan G, Baker ML, Wang, Z, Baker MR, Sinyagovskiy PA, Chiu W, Ludtke SJ and Serysheva II. Gating Machinery of IP3R Channels Revealed by Electron Cryo-Microscopy. Nature 2015. Link
  • Baker MR, Fan G, Serysheva II. Single-particle cryo-EM of the ryanodine receptor channel in an aqueous environment. Eur J Transl Myol. 2015;25(1):35-48. Link
  • Popova OB, Baker MR, Tran TP, Le T, Serysheva II. Identification of ATP-Binding Regions in the RyR1 Ca2+Release Channel. PLoS One. 2012 Nov;7(11), PMC3492408. Link
  • Baker MR, Rees I, Ludtke SJ, Chiu W, Baker ML. Constructing and Validating Initial Cα Models from Subnanometer Resolution Density Maps with Pathwalker. Structure. 2012 Mar 7;20(3):450-63, PMC3307788. Link
  • Baker, ML, Baker MR, Hryc C, Ju T, Chiu W. Gorgon and Pathwalking: Macromolecular Modeling Tools for Subnanometer Resolution Density Maps. Biopolymers. 2012 Sep;97(9):655-68. Link
  • Baker ML, Baker MR, Cong Y. Computational methods for interpretation of EM maps at subnanometer resolution. 2012 Jan, In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. Link
  • Baker, ML, Baker, MR, Hryc, CF, and DiMaio, F. Analyses of Subnanometer Resolution Cryo-EM Density Maps. Methods in Enzymology. 2010 May; 483:1-29, PMC3107677. Link
  • Fallon J*, Baker MR*, Xiong L*, Loy RE, Yang G, Dirksen RT, Hamilton SL, Quiocho FA. Crystal structure of dimeric cardiac L-type calcium channel regulatory domains bridged by Ca2+·calmodulins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar;106(13):5135–5140, PMC2654391. Link
  • Durham WJ, Aracena-Parks P, Long C, Goonasekera SA, Boncompagni S, Gilman CP,Galvan DL, Rossi AE, Baker MR, Shirokova N, Protasi F, Dirksen RT, Hamilton SL. RyR1 S-nitrosylation underlies Environmental Heat Stroke and Sudden Death in Y522S RyR1 Knock-in mice. Cell. 2008 April;133(1):53–65, PMC2366094. Link
  • Serysheva II, Ludtke SJ, Baker MR, Chiu W, Hamilton SL. Structure of the voltage-gated L-type Ca2+ channel by electron cryomicroscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2002 Aug;99(16):10370-5, PMC124921. Link
  • Lalani SR, Ware SM, Wang X, Zapata G, Tian Q, Franco LM, Jiang Z, Bucasas K, Scott DA, Campeau PM, Hanchard N, Umaña L, Cast A, Patel A, Cheung SW, McBride KL, Bray M, Craig Chinault A, Boggs BA, Huang M,Baker MR, Hamilton S, Towbin J, Jefferies JL, Fernbach SD, Potocki L, Belmont JW. MCTP2 is a dosage-sensitive gene required for cardiac outflow tract development. Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Jun 27. PMID: 23773997.Link


Post-Doctoral Fellow - UT Health Science Center - Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

NLM Bioinformatics Post-doctoral Fellow - Baylor College of Medicine - National Center for Macromolecular Imaging

Ph.D. Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics - Baylor College of Medicine - Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Research Interests

Ion Channels, Structural studies, Electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM), Atomic modeling from cryo-EM density maps

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